Jones thwarts Wilson’s bid to win the World Snooker final

Sheffield (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Kyren Wilson’s bid to win a first World Snooker Championship title met with late resistance from qualifier Jak Jones in the closing stages of Monday’s final at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.

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2 minutes

17-11 ahead, England’s No. 12 Wilson, beaten in the 2020 final by snooker great Ronnie O’Sullivan, was just one frame away from victory.

Jones, however, won three frames in a row to reduce Wilson’s lead as the pressure appeared to get to the 12th-ranked Englishman.

Jones, ranked 44th in the world, was 7-1 down after the first session and 11-6 down when play resumed on Monday.

He is only the ninth qualifier in 47 years at the Crucible to reach the final, with Jones looking to follow fellow Welshman Terry Griffiths in 1979 and Shaun Murphy in 2005 by going all the way to win the title.

Jones halved his overnight deficit to three frames and that might still have been the gap had he not blown a chance to win the final frame of Monday’s opening session after Wilson missed a single red when he 52 points ahead.

But Jones, after playing a good shot to bowl a difficult red off the cushion to put all the balls in play for a clearance, missed a yellow in the middle.

After making it through two rounds of qualifying, Jones — in his first ranking final — said he felt “lost” at the end of Sunday’s opening day.

However, he got off to a good start on Monday, with breaks of 64 and 59 that cut Wilson’s lead to 11-8.

But Wilson, after being below his best, managed breaks of 50 and 83 to restore his five-frame lead to 13-8 at the mid-session interval.

Jones responded with a break of 90, his highest in the finals so far, before closing the gap further with a contribution of 67.

However, Jones’ missed long red in the 25th frame paved the way for a break of 87 from Wilson as he restored a four-frame lead.

Jones went into first place in the final frame of the session only for his yellow to flash to help Wilson go five frames ahead.

When Jones went 17-11 in the evening session with an errant black final, it looked like the match was all but over.

But Jones, throwing caution to the wind, won several frames in a row to set up a tense finish.

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